Whod have thought Microsoft might actually out-engineer Apple? The impossible may have happened, as a reviewer for the Business Insider points out. In fact, there are several ways in which Microsofts new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, appears to have kicked the iPhone iOSs booty.
First, Windows Phone 7 has the idea of contacts down. Clicking one a contacts name brings up the options to call, e-mail, text, post on their Facebook wall and look at photos posted on their Facebook page. This compares to having to open the e-mail application, for example, to send a message, or open the phone app to make a call. Plus, Windows Phone 7 interacts with Facebook to updates users contact images as avatars change on the social networks site.
Speaking of Facebook, Windows Phone 7 has a built-in Facebook app just log in to Facebook through your phone and your contacts and photos import automatically. Looks like Microsofts partnership with Facebook was a solid move.
Next, Windows Phone 7 one-ups Apple iOS in a big way. Rather than requiring users to switch to photo-roll view to check a shot, then switch back to the live camera to take another, the live viewfinder sits next to previously taken photos. Plus, the camera comes in at 5 megapixels.
Another point of pride for Microsoft is something that mobile users long have yearned to have: access to Office documents. Windows Phone 7 allows users to view and edit Office files, as Business Insider found, and store them on a corporate SharePoint server. This will be a boon for enterprises looking to jump into the smartphone world. Apple has had trouble with business adoption of its iPhone and now one of its chief rivals has solved the problem. (So has Motorola with the soon-to-be released Droid Pro.)
But if youre more consumer-oriented, there are features for you, too, such as letting Xbox Live gamers use their identities and play turn-based games against friends, Business Insider said.
Finally, music fans should be pleased. Windows Phone 7 features a $15-per-month Zune Pass. That nets unlimited streaming and temporary downloads (that stop working once you stop paying), as well as 10 MP3 downloads good forever and transfer to an unlimited number of devices. Zune Pass works over 3G, so subscribers wont have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Yet, as Business Insider notes, Microsoft faces one major challenge with Windows Phone 7: getting people to try it. You have to use it to be impressed by it,” the reviewer writes. Demos and photos dont do it justice.” Thats where Apple has the advantage. The iPhone maker has hundreds of retail stores located around the country. Microsoft only has four. So, its hoping AT&T and T-Mobile, the first carriers to offer Windows Phone 7 devices, will get salespeople up to speed on the OS so people will try.
Therein lies the rub. As Business Insider says, consumers go to the Apple Store just to browse, and eventually maybe end up buying something they’ve fallen in love with. Nobody visits the AT&T store for fun.”